The Lady Statesmen will tip off the season at home Tuesday against Central Methodist at 5:30 p.m. Penn then stays at home Friday to host William Woods at 7 p.m.
Speed and athleticism will be the ingredients the Penn women's basketball team will use to cook up some victories in its 2008-2009 campaign.Brian Spielbauer
, in his sixth season as head coach, has a strong nucleus back on the hardwood as only one senior graduated from a team that finished 15-16 overall, including a 6-10 mark in the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
"We bring a lot of talent back from last year and we think we have brought in a very talented recruiting class as well," Spielbauer said.Lady Statesmen on the Radio/TV:
Every home Penn basketball game and several road contests can be heard live on the World Wide Web at http://www.statesmenathletics.com/liveaudio.php
Mahaska Communications Group (MCG) will also provide television coverage for all home games on its cable network.
Last season against Central Methodist and William Woods:
While Penn did not play Central Methodist last season, it did travel to Fulton, Mo. to face William Woods last year and defeated the Owls 85-63.Midwest Collegiate Conference Preseason Rankings:
The Penn women's basketball team will start the 2008-2009 season in a familiar position as the Midwest Collegiate Conference women's basketball preseason coaches' poll was released today.
Penn, who finished 15-16 overall (6-10 MCC) a year ago, has been selected to finish seventh in the nine-team league. The Lady Statesmen, who were also picked seventh last season, earned 31 points.
Defending MCC regular season and tournament champion St. Ambrose was predicted to repeat by receiving 77 points and six first-place votes. The Queen Bees were 29-5 overall and 14-2 in the conference in 2007-2008.
Iowa Wesleyan, with 69 points and one first-place vote, and Grand View, with 63 points and one first-place vote, were a tight second and third respectively.
Mount Mercy (49 points and one first-place vote), Waldorf (42 points), and Viterbo (41 points) were also ahead of Penn, while Ashford (21 points) and Clarke (12 points) rounded out the poll.1. St. Ambrose - 97 points (6 first-place votes)
2. Iowa Wesleyan - 69 points (1 first-place vote)
3. Grand View - 63 points (1 first-place vote)
4. Mount Mercy - 49 points (1 first-place vote)
5. Waldorf - 42 points
6. Viterbo - 41 points
7. William Penn - 31 points
8. Ashford - 21 points
9. Clarke - 12 points
Lady Statesmen Players to Watch:
Headlining the Penn roster is Christa Subbert
(So., Stanton, Stanton HS), an honorable-mention all-MCC selection last year who led the Lady Statesmen in both points (13.3 ppg) and rebounds (7.6 rpg) in her first collegiate campaign.Tibisa Thor
(Sr., Austin, Minn., Riverland CC), last year's starting point guard before having to redshirt in the second semester, returns to lead a talented trio at the point guard position. Thor averaged 5.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 15 games (12 starts) prior to the holiday break.A pair of freshmen will make a strong case for playing time at the wings this winter. Kylie Birkicht (Robins, Linn-Mar HS) helped her high school team to a third-place finish at state, while Emma LaBeau (Monroe, Mich., St. Mary's HS) was a two-time All-State performer.
"Kylie and Emma both shoot well from the perimeter and can also drive to the basket," Spielbauer said.
Melaragno leads four returners into battle for the starting center position and all have something different to contribute to Penn's success.
Janice Adams (Jr., Chicago, Ill., Austin HS) is by far the most physical player of the group, while Kelsey Ryder (So., Ottumwa, Ottumwa HS) will be tough to defend at 6'3". Melissa Johnson (Jr., Smithfield, Utah, Skyview HS) has the best shooting range of any player competing for the center spot.
enters his sixth season as head women's basketball coach this winter.
He began his coaching career at Penn, serving as an assistant men's basketball coach for one year.
Spielbauer played three years for the men's basketball program and graduated from Penn in 1996 with a physical education major and minors in health and biology. After graduation, he taught and coached at the high school level for two years at DeWitt and Corydon. At Corydon, Spielbauer was head boys basketball coach and assistant coach for football and baseball.
He then attended graduate school at Bemidji State in Bemidji, Minn., where he earned his M.S. in Sports Studies in 2002. While at BSU, Spielbauer served as a graduate assistant for the men's basketball program for two seasons.
Spielbauer also teaches part-time in the health and life sciences department.Assistant Coach:
enters his second season as assistant women's basketball coach at William Penn this past winter.
Edgeman returns to Penn after playing for the Statesmen basketball team in 2000-2001 and part of 2001-2002.
He is currently taking classes at the university, majoring in business management.Opponents this week:
(1-0) defeated Haskell Indian Nations in its season opener last Saturday 68-53.
Junior Guard Britney Westbrook led CMU with 15 points and seven rebounds while freshman guard Sami Dunger added ten points.
Andrea Brooks is beginning her first season as coach for the Eagles, previously serving as the assistant coach for Quincy (Ill.) last year.William Woods
(1-0) defeated Baptist Bible 86-38 in its first contest of the 2008-09 season.
The Lady Owls are ranked fourth in the preseason American Midwest Conference rankings. Last season the Owls posted a record of 4-23, including a 3-11 record in their conference. The Owls are a young team with a roster that does not have a single senior. They are led by sophomore guard Jill Sutton who received honorable-mention all-AMC honors during the 2007-08 campaign.
The Owls are coached by Dan Chapla who came to William Woods during the summer of 2008 after six years as the head women's basketball coach at Culver-Stockton (Mo.).Coming Up in November:
November 11 - @ Dana
November 14 - @ Ozark Christian (Ozark Classic)
November 15 - vs. Manhattan Christian (Ozark Classic)
November 18 - @ Briar Cliff
November 21 - vs. St. Mary's (Kan.) (Stephens Tournament)
November 22 - vs. TBD (Stephens Tournament)
November 25 - @ Minnesota State
November 25 - @ Jamestown
November 29 - @ Valley City State
*Bold denotes home game